Arts

This Week's Must Read
5:34 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

A 19th Century Novel Explains Quantitative Easing

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 6:56 pm

Anthony Trollope was one of England's, and maybe the world's, greatest 19th century novelists. I say that even though I'm not especially a fan. Trollope's prose is determinedly, insistently flat and neutral. Reading him you sometimes get the impression that if he came upon a particularly brilliant phrase or image, he would take it out, on the basis that it distracted from the story.

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Television
4:51 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Like Olive Kitteridge, Actress Frances McDormand Was Tired Of Supporting Roles

Frances McDormand plays Olive Kitteridge in the four-hour HBO miniseries adapted from Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning book of short stories.
Jojo Whilden HBO

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 5:08 pm

When asked to describe character Olive Kitteridge, actress Frances McDormand uses these words: "Heaven. Delicious. Full-feast. Three course meal. Soup-to-nuts."

Olive is a caustic New England teacher, created by Elizabeth Strout in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book Olive Kitteridge. McDormand says that in literature, you come across rich characters like this all the time — in film, not so much.

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Book News & Features
4:51 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Spine-Tingling With A Twang: Great Alabama Ghost Stories

This photo, taken at Katherine Tucker Windham's Selma house, shows reporter Nikki Davis Maute — and in the background, some say, the spirit the family calls Jeffrey.
University of Alabama Press

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 6:41 pm

Halloween is a day for ghost stories, but if you're a skeptic, don't fret. As the late Alabama storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham assured her listeners, tales of restless spirits are for everybody.

"I collect ghost stories," Windham said. "Now, the nice thing about ghost stories is that you don't have to believe in ghosts to enjoy hearing a good ghost story."

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Television
1:48 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

In The Life Of 'Olive Kitteridge,' It's The Little Things That Add Up

Richard Jenkins plays Henry, Olive's husband.
JoJo Whilden Courtesy of HBO

Olive Kitteridge, a new two-part, four-hour miniseries that runs on HBO Sunday and Monday, sounds like the kind of long-form dramas TV used to make back in the '70s and '80s when miniseries ruled. Like them, Olive Kitteridge covers an entire generation in the lives of its characters — a 25-year span — but otherwise, it couldn't be more different. Most of those sprawling classic miniseries were set against major historical events, and were as much about passionate romance and glamorous costumes as anything else.

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Author Interviews
1:32 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Stephen King On Growing Up, Believing In God And Getting Scared

"The more carny it got, the better I liked it," King says of his new thriller, Joyland. The book, set in a North Carolina amusement park in 1973, is part horror novel and part supernatural thriller. King talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about his career writing horror, and about what scares him now.

Originally broadcast May 28, 2013.

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